White House Coronavirus Task Force Briefing CSPAN March 19, 2020 8:01pm-9:22pm EDT
has changed since c-span began 41 years ago, but our mission continues -- to provide an unfiltered view of government. already this year, we brought you primary election coverage, the presidential impeachment process, and now the federal response to the coronavirus. you can watch all of c-span's public affairs programming on television, online, or listen on our free radio app and be part of the conversation through c-span's daily "washington journal" program. c-span -- america's cable television company, as a public service and brought to you by your television providers. president trump held a briefing with reporters on the coronavirus pandemic. he is joined by the vice president and members of his task force. this is an hour and 20 minutes.
>> not quite six feet as recommended, but more than there has been in the past. >> and we will wash our hands when we're done. >> thank you very much. i think there's going to be a very important conference, and i will get to that toward the middle, but i have a few things to report. i want to thank you all for being here and i have to say, i think with social distancing that the media has been much nicer. i don't know what it is, all of
these empty -- these and between chairs. you probably should not have anyone sitting behind you, either, but i love it. it is so much nicer, but i should not say that because you'll get me now. thank you all for being here, and we continue our relentless effort to defeat the chinese virus. before i begin, i want to start by announcing that today we are bringing home another american citizen. it's a big thing. very big. way back to the united states after being imprisoned in lebanon since september 2019. he is battling late stage cancer . he will now be able to receive the much needed care and treatment in the united states. we've been working very hard to get him free and he is finally able to have his entire family
at his side. , so i'm very grateful to the lebanese government that worked very proudd we are of his family. they stood by him so strongly and they are thrilled. the united states has no higher priority than the safety of our citizens. we've gotten a tremendous number of hostages out, as you know. i think we are 42-zero. robert o'brien, as you know, was our chief negotiator for a large part of it. did so well that now we have him in a different position, so i want to thank and congratulate robert and his team, and i want to let everyone know that recovering americans held captive and imprisoned abroad continues to be a top priority for my administration. gentleman, andng we're working very hard to get him out. we hope the syrian government
will do that. we are counting on them to do that. written a letter just recently. he has been there for a long ago. and was captured long his mother was probably watching. she is a great lady. we are doing the best we can, so, syria, please work with us. we will appreciate you letting him out. if you think about what we've done, we've gotten rid of the isis caliphate in syria. we will have to see if they are going to do this. it would be very much appreciated if they would let austin out immediately. as you know, my administration is working every day to protect american people and the american economy from the virus. yesterday, i signed into law critical support for american workers, families, and small
businesses. it's a big thing. we are providing sick leave and family medical leave to those affected by the virus and more help is on the way as we speak. our entire team, headed by secretary mnuchin, is on the hill and we are working with democrats and republicans, and there's a lot of goodwill going on. this is something that happened that some people would say was an act of god. i do not view it as an act of god. i would view it as something that just surprised the whole world. if people would have known about
it, we could have stopped it in place. it could have been stopped right where it came from, china. if we would've known about it, if they would have known about it. now the whole world, almost, is inflicted with this horrible -- with this horrible virus. it is too bad. it is too bad. because we never had an economy as good as the economy we had just a few weeks ago, but we'll be back. i actually think we'll be back stronger than ever before, because we learned a lot during this period of time. i also just invoked the defense production act to help facilitate distribution of essential supplies, if necessary. we're working with congress to provide major additional relief to the works, small businesses, and the hardest hit industries. we want to make sure everybody is able to continue on so that when we recover, all of these companies and these great businesses, both very small and very, very large are not going to be broken up and you'd have to put them back together. that would take a long time, because i believe in the v curve. i believe it's going to go -- when this is -- when this is defeated, this hidden scourge is defeated, i think we're going to go up very rapidly, our economy, and get back to where it was and beyond.
today, i want to share exciting progress the fda is making with the private sector as we slash red tape like nobody has done before. somebody was on one of the networks and said there is no president even close to be able to do what i have done in slashing all of the red tape and everything to get very important things to the market. medical. so we slashed red tape to develop vaccines and therapies as fast as it can possibly be done.
long before anybody else was even thinking about doing this. as you know, earlier this week we began the first clinical trial of a vaccine candidate for the virus. that was launched in record time. it was just a few weeks. that would have taken years to do not so long ago. as we race to develop a vaccine, we're also pursuing antiviral therapies and that's what really we're going to be talking about today. that's the purpose of being up here today. and to me, that's even more important. the vaccine, by nature, you have to have long tests because you have to make sure what goes into somebody's body is not going to do destruction, do bad things. so you need long tests. they are doing great with the vaccines, but it is still a long process. the therapies are something we can move on much faster, potentially. the treatments that we will be able to reduce the severity of -- severity or the duration of the symptoms and make people better.
we are looking at things to make people better, where at the very early stages they would not know they have it. that is where i believe it will work the best. the fda commissioner, who is with us, he is fantastic. he has been working 24 hours a day, he's worked probably as hard or harder than anybody in this group other than maybe mike pence, or me. what the fda is doing is incredible. they have done things in time that were not even thinkable. and i've directed the f.d.a. to eliminate outdated rules and bureaucracy so this work can proceed rapidly, quickly, and i mean, fast. we have to remove every barrier. there were a lot of barriers that were unnecessary. they have done that to get the rapid deployment of safe and effective treatments and we think we have some good answers. we will find out very soon. clinical trials are already under way for new many new
therapies and we're working on scaling these to allow many more americans to access different drugs that have shown good promise. we had some really good promise. we will do so in a way that lets us continue to collect the data -- collect good data to know which medicines are safe and which medicines are working the best. we have a couple that we're in really good shape on. and that's for immediate delivery. immediate.
like, as fast as we can get it. the f.d.a. has also approved compassionate use for a significant number of patients. you know what that means. we are also reviewing drugs that are approved abroad or drugs approved here for other uses, and one of the things i'm most proud of that i got was the right to try. that is where somebody who is very sick, terminally ill, usually. in past administrations -- we signed this a year and a half ago -- you wouldn't even be thinking about getting any of the drugs that may be showing great promise. they've been trying for many decades to get this approved. you would think it's simple. there is liability involved in lots of other things. i was able to get it approved working with congress, the right to try. this is beyond the right to try. what we are talking about today is beyond right to try. right to try has been a tremendous success. people are living that had no chance of living. where we take treatments that would have to go through years of a process and if somebody was terminally ill -- and i say, why wouldn't they try this? they go to asia, they go to europe, they go all over the world to try to find something. if they had no money, they would go home to die. they had no hope.
right to try has been an incredible success. this is beyond right to try. if treatments known to be safe in europe, japan, or other nations are effective against the virus, we will use that information to protect the health and safety of the american people. nothing will stand in our way as we pursue any avenue to find what best works against this horrible virus. now, a drug called chloroquine, and some people would add to it, hydroxychloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine.
now, this is a common malaria drug. it's also a drug used for strong arthritis. if somebody has pretty serious arthritis, also uses this in a somewhat different form. it is known as a malaria drug and it has been around a long time. it is very powerful. the nice part is it has been around for a long time so we know that if things do not go as planned, it's not going to kill anybody. when you go with a brand-new drug, you do not know that will happen. you have to see. you have to go a long tests. this is been used in different forms, very powerful drug, in different forms. it has shown encouraging early results. we are going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately. that is where the fda has been so great. they have gone through the approval process. it has been approved. they did it. they took it down from many months to immediate. so we're going to be able to make that drug available by prescription.
i spoke with governor cuomo about it at great length last night. he wants to be first in line. i think there is tremendous promise based on the results and other tests, there's tremendous promise. normally the fda would take a long time to approve something like that. it was approved very quickly. it is now approved by prescription. individual states will handle it. they can handle it. doctors will handle it.
i think it will be great. we are quickly studying this drug. while we are continuing to study it, the study will be done as it is given out to large groups of people, perhaps in new york and other places, we will study it there. there are promising therapies produced by gilead. and that's remdesivir. purposes that has been out and had very good results for other -- that is a drug used for other purposes that has been out and had very good results for other purposes, but it seems to have a very good result having to do with this virus. that drug also has been approved or close to approved in that case by the fda. i cannot tell you how much we appreciate what the fda -- these people are incredible patriots. the job stephen hahn is doing, one of the most respected doctors in the country. i said are you sure you want to do this? i would not know this would be
in the playlist of what happened. he has stepped up to the plate. wherever you are? i would shake his hand but i'm not supposed to do that. i would get in a lot of trouble if i did that. he has been fantastic. i thank you, doctor. he will speak right after i am finished. regeneron is a company that has done fantastically well with ebola and other things, a great company. they are looking at promising events also. and you have remdesivir and chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine. so those are two that are out now, essentially approved for prescribed use, and i think it's going to be very exciting. i think it could be a game changer, and maybe not. and maybe not. but i think it could be, based
on what i see, it could be a game changer. very powerful. i want every american to know we are doing everything we can and these actions are important next steps. for the f.d.a. to act the way they acted with this kind of speed is an incredible thing. normally they'd say, well, we can have it by next year or we can have it two years from now, you understand this is the way. normally this is years and years and years. they had it immediately, based on the fact it has been used for other things, totally unrelated things. we believe these therapeutics and others under evaluation right now will be able to provide relief to many americans. we hope that will be. this could be a tremendous breakthrough, tremendous
breakthrough. we will work toward a much-needed vaccine in the future, as i said, and what we're doing with the f.d.a. is so exciting and so many other fields. so many things are happening. it's a very exciting time for medicine. we appreciate that the american public has pulled together. they're really staying home. i think there's tremendous spirit in this country right now. a spirit like a lot of people have not seen. people have not seen anything like it for a long time. that means democrat, republican, they are pulling together. i hope everything is going good on the hill. maybe i should not say that until i check out what is going on. because you never know. but i think there's a great spirit where the democrats, the republicans, and everybody else are getting together and they're trying to get things done.
a lot of money to stop things because we don't want people to be together so that this virus doesn't continue onward. there is never been anything like this in history. there is never been, no one has ever seen anything like this. we are doing the right thing. our big is not a financial war, it's a war -- it's a medical war. we have to win this war. it's very important. with that i'd just like to introduce dr. stephen hahn. and he, again, i'd like to send back with stephen our thanks to all of the people working at the f.d.a. who are fantastic, talented people. we appreciate it very much everything you've done, especially the speed you got these two elements, these two very important drugs passed. thank you very much. dr. hahn: thank you, mr. president. i want to thank you for this leadership during this coronavirus outbreak and thank you for the kind words about the f.d.a. staff. we have 10,000 scientists, doctors, and others and more than that working around the clock to aid the american people in this fight against the coronavirus. and those words are very much appreciated, sir. president trump: thank you. dr. hahn: before the president nominated me and i was confirmed, i was a cancer doctor. i sat across from countless number of patients and had to talk to them about their diagnosis and their treatment. one thing that was important was to provide hope. i have great hope for how we are going to come out of this situation. what is also important is not to provide false hope, but to provide hope. as a doctor, that is the way i come to this, speaking to the american people as commissioner of food and drugs. that part of me has not left.
look at how the american people have responded to our calls for mitigation, social distancing. the american people have great resiliency and i'm so incredibly proud how the american people have responded. as the president mentioned, he asked us to be aggressive, to break down barriers to innovation and accelerate the developing of lifesaving treatments. we are doing that at the fda. the fda is committed to continuing to provide regulatory flexability and guidance. that may make one thing clear. the fda's responsibility to the american people is to ensure products are safe and effective. we are continuing to do that.
our folks and there are tremendous professionals are working day and night to do this. you cannot even imagine how much they are working to provide the support for the american people. i thank them. since early january, long before the first domestic case, f.d.a. began working in collaboration with c.d.c. i also want to note we set up an instant command group and have been focused on the coronavirus since the beginning of this public health emergency. this is an all of government and all-america approach and i will describe what i mean by that in terms of the development of therapeutics. an important part of that work is expanding the potential therapeutic options associated with the coronavirus. we have learned from our colleagues across the globe about this. i want to focus on one thing. i was a cancer researcher before all this. one thing i know about this great country of ours is we have unbelievable innovators. we have people who every day it's their job to develop treatments for all sorts of diseases.
we are incredibly blessed as a country to have this. as is true in any industry, academia, private sector, they have engaged just about the best treatment options. we are looking at everything that's coming across our desks as possible treatment options for coronavirus. we are extremely encouraged by the interest and promise we have seen from these great american innovators. again, we need to look at it. we need the data, we need the information to make the absolute best decision for the american people. i want to assure you we have over 17,000 people at fda doing this every day. we need to make sure the sea of new treatments will get the right drug to the right patient at the right dosage at the right time. as an example, we may have the right drug but it may not be in the appropriate dosage form and that may do more harm than good. those are the things that that is our job to look at and that is why it is important we have these dedicated professionals looking at these aspects of therapeutic develop. at the same time, we're also working through different mechanisms to actually get drugs into the hands of providers and patients.
patient. we have criteria for that and very speedy approval for that. the important thing about compassionate use -- and that's what the president meant -- this is even beyond right to try -- is we get to collect the information about that. one of the things in our promise to the american people is we will collect the data and make the right decisions based upon the data about the safety and efficacy of the treatments. we are working expeditiously and we are working to make sure these products are safe and effective as they possibly can be. let me tell you about a few things we are currently working on. this is a plan developed with many of the people at this table, our infectious disease experts on the task force. we are looking at drugs already approved for other indications. they are already approved, as the president, for other diseases. as an example, many americans have read studies and media reports about this including chloroquine, an anti-malarial drug. it is already approved for the treatment of malaria as well as arthritis. that is a drug the president has directed us to take a closer look at as to whether an expanded use approach that could be done to actually see that benefits patients. again, we want to do that in the setting of a clinical trial, a large, pragmatic clinical trial to actually gather that information and answer the question that needs to be answered and -- asked and answered. let me give you another example. there is a cross-agency effort something called convalescent plasma. this is an exciting area. this is something we have given assistance to other countries with as this crisis has developed. the fda has been working for some time on this. if you've been exposed to coronavirus and you are better, you do not have the virus in your blood, we could collect the blood -- now, this is a possible treatment. this is not a proven. just want to emphasize that. collect the blood, concentrate
that, and have the ability once it is virus free to be able to give that to other patients. the immune response could provide a benefit to patients. another thing we are looking at, over the next couple of weeks we will have more information. we are pushing hard to try to accelerate that. that is in the short term. that will be a bridge to other therapies that will take us three to six months to develop. this is a continuous process. there is no beginning and end to each of this. we are pushing this through. the other great thing about the innovators of america, some has taken us years to develop therapies. they are looking to push that to the month period of time. we are trying to provide them with the flexibility as well as the over sight to make sure that gets done in the best way possible for the american people. the president mentioned there is a vaccine trial currently being performed, it is a phase one trial. we expect that to take 12 months to get to completion to a time where we could approve a vaccine.
these are all things to bridge to the prevention part of this. his exciting work, and the president is right. this is record time for the development of a vaccine and an impressive public/private partnership. the fda's efforts to facilitate the developing of these products are focused on ensuring timely access as well as meeting the agency's world respected gold standard for relying on strong data for clinical trials to determine if an experimental or off-the-shelf drug used for something else can safely and effectively treat patients. we want to ensure the american people that the fda is all hands on deck as the president mentioned. these efforts to continue to work with interested sponsors to help expedite the work. we remain steadfast in helping to foster the development of safe and effective therapies for covid-19. thank you. pres. trump: thank you very much. mike?
v.p. pence: thank you, mr. president. the white house coronavirus task force met this morning on this first day of spring. we continue to make steady progress toward president trump subjective not to lead to marshal all the resources of the federal government, every state government, every local health official, but also to harness the power of the american private sector and activities over the last day reflect all of those priorities. yesterday the president spoke with america's top physicians and nurses and garnered helpful insights about how we can best serve those who are serving americans dealing with the coronavirus. we also had a productive call with over 5000 state and local officials explaining the federal government's approach and are -- and our strong and seamless partnership with all 50 states and the territories. the family signed the coronavirus response act which has paid sick leave.
family leave her caregivers and food assistance for the needy, among a broad range of benefits. and today we expect the senate will begin work on an economic relief package. later today, the president and i will meet again in a teleconference with the nation's governors, we will meet at the national response coordination center at fema. and outline president trump's decision to have fema take the lead in our national coronavirus response. our nation's response through fema will be locally executed, state managed and federally supported. on testing, we want the american people to know countries again that testing is available in all 50 states and is becoming increasingly available literally every hour. because of the public and private partnership the president initiated several weeks ago, i am pleased to receive a report today that tens
of thousands of tests are being performed every day. and with the passage of last night's legislation, state and private labs are now required by law to report all coronavirus testing directly to the cdc, which will give the american public, and also give our researchers, timely and important information. it is important for every american to remember if you do not have symptoms, you do not need to get a test. we want to make sure testing is available for people who are experiencing symptoms or have a genuine concern about being exposed to someone with the coronavirus. dr. birx will address county-level data as well as the progress we've made on testing and how americans can expect to see an increase number of cases as our new testing system comes online should not be a cause of concern. she will explain the importance of taking into account our new testing system as new data
arrives over the next of the days. on supplies, a priority the president has given to our task force, we continue to work with health care providers, businesses, state leadership to identify available supplies, not merely in the federal stockpile, but much more importantly available across the private sector. we are encouraged to see companies like honeywell and 3-m companies i visited a few short weeks ago, that have taken advantage of the sale of industrial masks directly to hospitals. they have not greatly increased by the tens of millions their production of so-called n-95 masks that will give our health care workers the protection they need to minister to those dealing with symptoms, or the disease of coronavirus. and following the signing of last night's bill, all of those masks now have liability protection and the companies can sell industrial masks to hospitals.
it is encouraging as we called out yesterday, construction companies all across america that are, as we speak, checking their supplies and donating industrial masks to their local hospitals. i speak on behalf of the president, who spent a lot of time as a builder, when we thank builders for partnering with local health officials. with ventilators, we are working with health care providers around america, and suppliers, and are encouraged to learn that we've literally identified tens of thousands of ventilators that can be converted to treat patients.
and we remain increasingly confident that we'll have the ventilators that we need as the coronavirus makes its way across america. and as we said before, we are in this together. and before i step away and give the podium back to the president and to dr. birx, i want to call every american's attention, again, to the president's 15 days to slow the spread. we continue to hear one case after another, one city after another, where people are putting into practice the principles that the president outlined this monday. make no mistake about it, while for the american people as a whole, the risk of serious illness remains low, these guidelines should be practiced by every american in every community, not only to lessen the spread of the coronavirus, but to protect the most vulnerable among us. and i think americans with -- from their hearts are not only practicing these principles of social distancing and using drive-thrus at restaurants, to protect their own health and that of their family, they are also recognizing that no american wants to inadvertently convey the virus to someone for whom the consequences could be serious. at the president's direction, we will marshal all resources at
every level we will reiterate that strong partnership between the states and governors, pulling all of the private sector energy together, the innovation you just heard described. i know on this first day of spring we'll get through this and get through this together. thank you, mr. president. pres. trump: thank you. dr. birx: thank you, mr. president. i know you are watching the data carefully. you can see the dramatic increases in the number of new cases based on our ability to test additional people. this will continue over the next two to three days as we continue to have backlogs reduced of the testing. you have heard the antidotes of people waiting five or six days for results, we are moving through all of that, as well as testing individuals. i really want to applaud the
frontline health care workers, the nurses and the doctors and the testers that have really prioritized and the american people who have prioritized those with symptoms. the number of tests positives is increasing. that is a dramatically important signature that everybody is doing their job. those with mild symptoms are staying home, self-isolating. those with serious symptoms are coming forward to get tests. we are not in the 10% or 11% range for positive tests, that means 90% of the illnesses, even the severe ones, are not covid-19. i know many are looking at the state level data, still over 50% of the cases come from three states. this is why we continue to
prioritize testing in those states. in addition, 50% of the cases come from 10 counties. we are a large country with many counties, and i want to applaud the local and state governments that are implementing their emergency operations centers and plans to ensure. i want to also really thank the health care workers that have been asked to reduce elective surgeries, medical and dental visits. this will dramatically increase the number of ventilators available in hospitals, but also in ambulatory surgical centers that can be converted and utilized. it also to the construction industry, we are grateful, as the vice president said, the number of individuals who have come forward with their masks, their tieback suits and their masks and contribute them to the health care sector. the president's request to make this available in that legislation changes the ability and increases our availability immediately in the 75% to 90% range because of the construction use of those elements. thank you. pres. trump: thank you. go ahead. jerome. dr. adams: thank you. today, you heard a wonderful announcement from the fda and i want to give a shoutout to the
doctor and folks at the fda, where my officers work, they are working tirelessly, they are doing things that have never been done before to bring the most prudent advances to the american people. but i want to talk about something different briefly. we know that many of you are home practicing the guidelines for social distancing. but one thing we should all consider, especially our millennials and gen z, is donating blood. as an anesthesiologist that still practices at walter reed taking care of our wounded warriors and soldiers, i know donated blood is an essential part of caring for our patients, and one donation can save up to three lives.
blood centers are open now and in need of your donations. i want america to know that blood donation is safe and blood centers are taking extra precautions based on new cdc recommendations, including spacing beds six feet apart, disinfecting surfaces between patients, temperature checking staff and encouraging donors to make appointments ahead of time so we can space them out. social distancing does not have to mean social disengagement. so give blood today. you will feel good about it. and you will be helping your country and community during this crisis. you might even save a life. pres. trump: thank you. please. reporter: mr. president, switching to the efforts to boost the economy with the measures before congress, will you guarantee that the tens of billions of dollars, hundreds of billions of dollars that will go to these industries, will not go to executive bonuses or more stock buybacks?
pres. trump: we do not want that. some companies did buybacks and i was never happy with that. it is hard to tell them not to, but i would tell them not to. i would say i do not like it for that reason. some did and it turned out they could have waited a long time. it would be much better off if they did. reporter: you can make a condition of the money saying none of this money can go? president trump: it takes many, many people in this case to tango. as far as i'm concerned, conditions like that would be ok with me. reporter: mr. president, a question for you and a question for dr. hahn. you enabled, i guess the best way to pull it, the defense production act. but did you not pull the trigger on it. pres. trump: we hope we will not needed. reporter: there have been calls from democratic leadership to pull the trigger on it, what is the rationale for not doing that? pres. trump: the government is supposed to do a lot of the sort, and they are. the federal government is not supposed to be out there buying vast amounts of items and shipping them. we're not a shipping clerk. the governors are supposed to be, as is testing, the governors are supposed to be doing it. we will help wherever we can. and we can buy in volume, in
some cases great volume. the masks are an example. which is a problem. we have helped out and right now there are millions of masks being made. this is really for the local governments, governors, and people within the state, depending on the way they divide it up. and they'll do that and they're doing a very good job of it. where you have a problem with ventilators, we are working hard trying to find them. nobody would ever have thought that we would need tens of thousands of ventilators. this is something unique to this. >> under what conditions would you put the defense production act into action? president trump: if we were in desperate need of something and we'll frankly know about that very shortly, we want to be ahead -- we don't want to do it as it happens but before it happens. we'll know a lot over the next two or three days. we'll know a lot. reporter: dr. hahn, any idea when remdesivir can be available to the public?
and are there drugs in the pipeline you believe could qualify for the treatment? dr. hahn: the first question, i am prohibited to disclose confidential commercial information, but we are working closely with the company on this and we will have additional information, they will, relatively soon. yes, there are drugs in the pipeline. we are looking at everybody. everybody is called about therapeutic options. we are looking at every single one of them. reporter: two questions. one on the coronavirus. but quickly, are you confirming that austin tice is still alive? pres. trump: this is been going on for years. they have been trying to find him. he was in syria. his mother is an incredible woman. i'm doing it for him. i'm doing it for his mother.
his mother is an incredible woman who is desperate to find her son. i am not confirming alive. if he's alive, we'd like very much to get him back quickly. reporter: on corona. speaking of shortages of supplies, the c.d.c. put out guidelines for hospitals that are dealing with a shortage of masks to use them being on their shelf life, reuse them and then use a bandana in a worst-case scenario. how is that acceptable? pres. trump: i have not seen that. i'll let mike answer that. i will let the vice president answer that question. v. p. pence: i cannot emphasize enough the incredible progress that has been made with the passage of legislation last night. the president had me go to minnesota to meet with 3-m that manufacturers these n-95 masks a few weeks ago. and we learned of their production at that facility of 35 million masks a month.
less than five million of those were qualified to be sold to hospitals. so the president worked with democratic and republican leadership, we extended the liability protection, so that now all the industrial masks that are manufactured are now available to hospitals, we are seeing a dramatic increase in production. honeywell is repurposing a factory that was destined for mexico to produce another 120 million masks. 3m is increasing output to 340 million masks per year. we really put a priority up at the present's direction on making sure that there is -- that those providing health care services to america have the protection to keep themselves and their families safe. and with the legislation last night, with the incredible response among these great private sector companies, and as we mentioned repeatedly, with construction companies around america heeding the president's call to donate their masks to hospitals, we know we'll meet that need.
president trump: when will they be ready? vice president pence: 3-m is making more. at the end they make 35 million per month at that facility. and we are prioritizing the distribution of those. the other thing, and we will emphasize this with the governors this afternoon, we're working with governors to ensure the health care providers, the hospitals, and the clinics in their state are placing orders now that this tremendous increase in supply, particularly with industrial masks, is now available. we will make sure they understand the supply has greatly expanded, thanks to bipartisan legislation and the accomplishment the president and the response by these companies is making more masks available and we're going to make sure health care providers are purchasing those. and the federal government will also make sure that our stockpile properly reflects those increases as well.
reporter: when will those masks be ready? they need them, like, today? vice president: they're available now. the 3-m facility i was at told me in january they were going to full production on 35 million masks. the legislative change means that all 35 million of those that started to be produced at full capacity in january can now be sold to hospitals. that's the distinction here. it's a very important change and that's part of how the president is engaging the private sector, pushing the kind of regulatory reform and the kind of liability reform that has greatly expanded the availability of masks. so they're in the marketplace now. we're going to make it clear to governors, as we made it clear to health care providers in conference calls yesterday that those resources are now there. we vastly increased the supply of medical masks and we're going to continue to put a priority on making sure that we're calling on industry at every level,
calling on major suppliers that the president met with this week to make sure those personal protective equipment is there. president trump: and the liability to the company. they had a big problem with liability and much of it had to do with the liability to the company. reporter: two for you and one for dr. hahn. the american hospital association told nbc news that they need $100 billion in order to address shortages in equipment and other infrastructure. you just signed two legislative packages. they say it didn't directly give money to address this issue. why not and will you commit to making presient trump: they're working with them. that's a separate issue but we're looking at that issue very directly. we're looking at it. we're going to do our best. we're working with democrats and republicans on that. we're looking at that very specifically. reporter: and can you bottom line people, when can americans
expect their lives to go back to normal? will that not happen until there's a vaccine? president trump: i hope very soon. we'll see. this is unchartered territory, as you know. we think we have ideas. does it help to say what the ideas are? i would hope very soon. we pull together as a nation. people are for the most part doing what they're supposed to be doing. the social distancing is very interesting. a whole new term. has become somewhat of a hot term, but people are listening and they're really doing a great job. this country is an amazing country. i think you're up to 141 different countries right now. it's very unchartered territory. could have been stopped. could have been stopped pretty easily if we had known, if everybody had known about it a number of months before people started reading about it. reporter: you said you did - president trump: excuse me. before we started reading about it, it could have been chapped in its tracks.
unfortunately, they did not decide to make a public. but the whole world is suffering because of it. reporter: you said that you did have a sense that this was a pandemic, that it was coming, so why was the was not prepared with the testing? pres. trump: we were very prepared. the only thing we were not prepared for was the media. the media has not treated it fairly. i will tell you how prepared it was. i called for a ban of people coming from china long before anybody thought it was -- in fact, it was your network, i believe they call me racist because i did that. many people in the room called me racist and other words because i did that, because i went so early. when you say we were not prepared -- had i let these thousands of people come in, we would have let something in, you would not have recognized it compared to where we are. how many people have died as of this moment? you could multiply that by a factor of many, many, many. when you say i was not prepared, i was the first one to do the ban, now other countries are following what i did. but the media does not acknowledge that.
they know it is true, but they do not want to write about it. reporter: i wanted to follow up on john and caitlin's question, it is not just masks, doctors are saying they are desperate for other personal protective gear like gloves and other equipment. governors say they do not have access to respirators and they are terrified. pres. trump: governors are supposed to get it, the states are supposed to get it area for years they bought them and now they are coming to the federal government. we are working with the governors and working with everybody. the relationships are great. one thing that happened this morning, i spoke with mickey harrison of carnival, and he will make ships available. so in addition to the big medical ships, if we should new ships, lots of rooms, they will be docked in different places. new york, that is carnival cruise line.
reporter: what about invoking the defense production act? pres. trump: i have done it. if we find we need something, then we will do that. you do not know what we have done. you do not know if we have invoked it, what have been ordered. i can only tell you that, as an example the masks, nobody has ever heard of the number of masks ordered. they are being made now and many of them are available now. but people in the media do not know that. go ahead. reporter: can you explain the gap in what you are saying today about there being tens of thousands of tests available and there are masks available in what we are seeing on the ground, the opposite of that. people say they cannot get tested, even when they have symptoms. dr. say they do not have access to vital equipment. can you explain that gap? pres. trump: i cannot explain the gap. i am hearing good things on the ground. we are dealing every day to ramp up.
they had a obsolete system that was not meant for this. nobody knew that there would be a pandemic, an epidemic of this proportion. nobody has seen anything like this before. i can tell you that what we are doing is we are working with local governments, states' governors and mayors, on getting them to be able to get what they need. the system is working well. but we had to break the system, like breaking an egg, because the system did not work. it is something we inherited. and now it is working good, and it will be great for the future too.
reporter: mr. president, there seems to be backlash building among congressional republicans and your supporters about the bailout, in particular one senator said this goes back to 2008, when we were picking winners and losers, and his colleagues are not comfortable with that. pres. trump: we do not want to pick winners and losers. we want everybody to benefit. we want the workers to benefit. sometimes for the workers to benefit you have to go through the company, because they have thousands of workers and if the company goes out of business, no fault of their own, those workers will not receive a check. so our ultimate goal are the people, the great people of this country. and we will have things worked out i think that will be very good. it is a complex formula. you understand that. but it is working out. i think we will have pretty uniform support for it. reporter: we are hearing the state department will put out an advisory telling americans not to travel overseas at all, are you putting in an overseas travel ban? pres. trump: we are speaking with the state department later. i cannot say because i have not had the meeting at. reporter: the doctor about the announcement today, if i could. i wanted to ask about remdesivir.
can you say that the drug is currently approved for use on the virus? >> remdesivir, a drug made by gilead, it has been in the press, it is in clinical trials currently here and around the world. we have also made it available by that approach i told you called compassionate use, where a doctor could ask the fda for that and the positive thing about that is it gives it rapidly to the patient, and allows us to collect data. we really need to understand what the data and science are in order to make the appropriate decision about the safety and its effectiveness. reporter: how do you make sure it is safe? is there any concern at all that it will be safe, considering it is not the normal process and could cause negative effects? the doctor earlier said we do not want to put out anything that could cause negative effects. any concerns on that? >> thank you for that question
because i want to be clear about this. remdesivir is going through the normal process. we are using our internal processes at fda to set up with the company, the protocol to collect the data. and you are right, we need to know about the safety and effectiveness. and that is done through clinical trials. so it is that data that will inform the decisions that are ultimately made about the safety and efficacy. this is an unprecedented situation. this is a really significant time. one's leadership that the fda has done is say ok, how do we approach these extraordinary times, knowing we have a sacred trust with the american people about safety and efficacy and at the same time enable treatments to get to patients? that is what we are doing. reporter: mr. president, one for you and one for the doctor. how likely is it that the 15 day guidance you have put through will be extended?
pres. trump: i can only say on the 14th day. we will see. we will have indications later. reporter: dr. birx indicated there were three states and 10 counties where 50% of the cases are focused. should those areas be doing more measures, such as shelter-in-place? pres. trump: i think they are doing a lot. new york is working very diligently, been very strong. i assume san francisco is one area. and los angeles. the state of washington, obviously. that is one that has to be up there. they are working hard to quarantine, just about the equivalent of quarantine. reporter: what about plans for government workers? are you moving for the government as well to do more teleworking? pres. trump: we are. we are using the medical term of telemedicine. and it has been incredibly busy. some people cannot do it anyway,
they cannot go see a doctor, but we are using this and it has been telehealth. some different names. it has been very successful and it has helped a lot of people out, where they could not -- or if they are positive or feeling poorly, they cannot do it. or we do not want to anybody -- or we do not want them transmitting anything to anybody else. reporter: mr. president, on china, they reported for the first time since the outbreak no new cases over 24 hours. do you have any reason to disbelieve them? second to that, the national security council yesterday put out a tweet that was critical of the chinese government, saying the chinese communist party suppressed initial reports of the chinese virus and punished doctors and journalists, causing chinese and international experts to miss critical opportunities to prevent the growth of the pandemic. can you explain?
pres. trump: it would have been much better if we had known about this a number of months earlier. it could have been contained to that one area in china where it started. the world is paying a big price for what they did. and the world is paying a big price for not letting them come out, everybody knows that. we all know that. as far as believing what they are putting out now, i hope it is true. who knows? but i hope it is true. reporter: quickly a question for you, also to the doctor. you have been talking about china quite a bit, and about the chinese virus, how the u.s. -- if the u.s. had heard from this from day one, had had more information, we could've stopped to this. are you thinking about repercussions from china and are you rethinking about the supply line for our manufacturing industry? pres. trump: i do not want to comment on that right now. reporter: mr. president, i have a question for you and a
question for dr. birx. american workers across the country are losing their jobs at an unprecedented rate, and your former economist said we could see the worst job numbers ever. is the government prepared to see a spike in unemployment? pres. trump: worst case scenario you would have terrible job pree scenario you would have terrible job numbers. if we could get this wrapped up and finished earlier, things will go nicely. and one of the things, as you know, one of the elements that is being worked on very much so on the hill is to keep the jobs going, so that when we do get rid of the virus we will be able to really go like a rocket. i think the economy will be fantastic. when he said that, he was using that as the ultimate bad outcome. i do not think anybody believes that is going to happen. go ahead. reporter: members of congress are being tested and testing positive for coronavirus.
almost two dozen of them are self-quarantining. do you have guidance for congress? pres. trump: i know all of them. and i do not know if they are sitting like you are sitting. you are actually sitting too close. we should get rid of about another 75% or 80% of you. just two or three that i like in this room. that is a good way to do it. but you are actually too close. you two, you should leave immediately. look, i know all of them. they tested positive. hopefully, they will all get better. and it is one of those things. it is congress, you know. it is one of those things. reporter: should they keep going to the hill? pres. trump: i don't think they are going to the hill. i know somewhere they tested positive, they are in quarantine. i know lindsay and many others, they didn't test but and still
-- until they got the result, they put themselves in quarantine. and number of people in congress are in quarantine, they don't know the results. because people get better. most people are getting better. most, by far, the people -- you get better. does it mean it is not a tough one? it is a tough one. many people in congress have felt not perfect or they met somebody that wasn't perfect, turned out to be positive. and they have put themselves in quarantine. i think congress has behaved unbelievably well in that regard. reporter: on the stimulus, given what is happening to the economy, do you think a $1 trillion stimulus is enough? pres. trump: we will know about that later on. we will see what happens. it depends. so much depends on what goes on in this room in terms of the medical. if we can stop it in its tracks, the virus, it is plenty. if we can't, we will have to go back and talk. reporter: do you support the idea of the government taking an equity stake in certain companies? pres. trump: i do.
reporter: which companies? pres. trump: i am not going to say. look, people are coming in for money. in some cases, no fault of their own. in some cases, they did certain things over the course of the years, including buying back stock. they bought back stock and they paid a high price for it. but maybe i view that as differently than somebody that didn't. and somebody that had plans all over the united states, of which there were plenty of them. reporter: airlines or boeing? pres. trump: we will be helping the airline industry. we will be helping the cruise ship industry. we will probably help the hotel industry. where jobs are created, you do not want to lose them. you don't want to lose industries like this. we will be focused on many industries. i have to say, i can't state it strongly enough, we will be helping small businesses. that is where it is complicated. that is the engine of the country. we will be helping small
business. reporter: dr. hahn, members of congress have tested positive for coronavirus the $1 trillion stimulus package for the economy. do you expect this to slow down the delivery of checks for american families? are you considering any executive action? pres. trump: there could be, we are looking at a couple of things that it could do. hopefully we will not need it. there is a lot of executive power. if we don't have to use it, that would be a good thing, not a bad thing. reporter: one for you and potentially one for dr. birx. right now, the economy has essentially ground to a halt. pres. trump: thanks for telling us, we appreciate it. reporter: stores have closed. travel has slowed down. pres. trump: what is the rest of your question? everybody in the room knows that. reporter: the question is, how long should those who are not working now or business owners who have to make critical decisions, how long should they expect the state of affairs as it stands at this moment to play
out and for the doctors -- pres. trump: we will be able to tell you that in the near future. we will see where we are going. you have seen numbers, you have seen the graphs, you will see numbers and we will let you know. i will say the american public has been incredible, for the most part. not in all cases, but for the most part. you will be able to see what is happening. as we say, we had a 15 day period, you will be able to tell a lot in a week or so. we will be able to see. reporter: for all the parents that are home right now, this is a question for dr. birx for dr. adams who are caring for their children and curious as to when my to my kids be able to go back to school, what do you think is a realistic timeline? dr. birx: i think all of those decisions are made as a state and local government level. each state and local government has handled it differently. that is why we put out from the president, federal presidential
guidance to every single person about what we think is important for the next two weeks. as we look at that data, we will be able to see if it is having an impact. i think you have all seen the modeling studies. those were driven by the modeling studies showing if you add these things together, they have a bigger impact than separately. those are part of the decision-making. we had a whole group of modelers in yesterday. they are compositing the data together to look at this carefully. everyone has those same questions of what the impact will be. and what pieces could essentially be removed. and you still have the same level of impact in decreasing the spread of the virus. the absolute key to this though is every single american looking at the president guidelines and taking it seriously. the acts of selflessness i am seeing are so impressive across the board, but if even 10% or 15% of the population decides that what they are doing today is
more important than the health and welfare of the rest of americans, they can spread the virus in a very strong way because you know the level of contagion. pres. trump: and i have to say, if chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine works or any of the other things we're looking at, that are not quite as far out, if they work, your numbers will come down very rapidly. we will see what happens. there is real chance they might work. in the back, go ahead. reporter: what is your message for some leaders in latin america like the president of brazil who just on sunday was taking photos with supporters in quarantine? and just yesterday, the president from brazil said we should not be surprised if we see him in the next few days in a crowded subway in sao paulo because he should be with the people. what do you think about that and what is your message? pres. trump: he is a friend of
mine number one. we had dinner the other night and everyone said he was positive and he wasn't positive. he tested negative. i was happy when i heard that. i have no message for him other than he is doing a good job in brazil. he's doing a good job in brazil and he is very popular. reporter: how about quarantine? pres. trump: i don't know about that. i have not heard that. he's doing a good job. brazil was very troubled before he got there. the people love him. and he's popular. i think he's doing a very good job. reporter: mr. president, there are americans who are traveling abroad who were essentially stopped, unable to come home. we spoke to 10 women -- pres. trump: where? reporter: we spoke to 10 american women in morocco. all the flights have been canceled. their hotel is shutting down. they literally have no place to stay and no way to get home. they are asking you, the administration, the u.s. government for help. pres. trump: we have groups, we
have a group of young people in peru and we are working on taking care of that with the military. reporter: military evacuations -- pres. trump: not evacuation, we are trying to get them out. they got caught. they were late with their flights. we gave them a period of time. they did not make it, but we are looking to get them out with the military, probably through the military. i think we have young men, young people, could be women also with them, from alabama. the great state of alabama. they are in peru and we are working on that now trying to get them out. it is a large group about 300. reporter: mr. president, two foreign policy related questions. in your talk with the g7 leaders earlier this week, did you discuss together ending or postponing the olympics? pres. trump: yeah, we did discuss it. as you know, prime minister abe was on the call. that is a big decision for him. we don't know what his decision is.
we will live with his decision. it is a tough situation. japan has done an incredible job on building the venues, getting them built. you have seen so many olympic venues that have been a disaster over the years where they cost five times more than they were supposed to, they were not ready in time. japan has been the opposite. they built it beautifully. they built it for what it was supposed to be built for. then he got hit with the same thing the rest of the world got hit with unexpectedly. he has told us he has not made a decision as to what to do. reporter: also on foreign policy, have you spoken to the leaders of saudi arabia or russia and encouraged them to stop this glut of oil? pres. trump: the one thing i will tell you is from the standpoint, you always get torn. until we became the leading producer, i was always for the person driving the car and filling up the tank of gas. you have gasoline and the prices were, if they were too high, i would raise hell with opec.
i was always somebody that likes -- i never thought i would see $22 and $24 and $28 a barrel. but that is what we have. in one way, our consumer is very much helped. it is like a massive tax increase. it is bigger than any tax decrease you could give. we could give all of these big tax cuts. but they are paying so little for gasoline. on the other hand, it hurts a great industry and a very powerful industry. i spoke with numerous people that have a lot to do with it. we have a lot of power over the situation. we are trying to find some kind of a medium ground. it is very devastating to russia because when you look, their whole economy is based on that. we have the lowest oil prices in decades. so it is very devastating to russia. i would say it is very bad for saudi arabia but they are in a
fight. they are in a fight on price. they are in a fight on output. at the appropriate time, i will get involved. reporter: forgive me if i missed it, what will the carnival cruise ships be used for? pres. trump: mickey called up and he said if you need them, and we have not said yes, i will call governor cuomo, i will call gavin newsom, the governor from california, i will call a few of the other governors because we are meeting through phone, telephonically as they say. reporter: increase hospital beds? pres. trump: we will increase places to stay. if it works. i don't know. maybe people won't want them. he made the offer, it was a generous offer. he said he has some ships that would be ideally suited for what we are doing and certainly, they have a lot of rooms. they are big and have a lot of rooms. we appreciate it from carnival.
reporter: at what point will test beican who wants a able to get a test? pres. trump: not needing the test? reporter: only getting tested if you are showing symptoms. pres. trump: i didn't have any symptoms and i got a test. i got a test because you people were driving everybody crazy. i had no symptoms, but i had to test. my doctor told me don't get it, you don't need it. but i had to do it because the press was going crazy. then after i got it, they said you should not have gotten it, you have no symptoms. i'm a unique case, unfortunately. no, people that don't show symptoms in people that have doctors that say they should not get it, i would rely on that. i would rely on that. reporter: mr. president, thank you. i have two questions. do you consider the term chinese
-- pres. trump: oan. treat me very nicely. reporter: do you consider the term chinese food racist because it originates in china? pres. trump: i do not think it is racist at all. reporter: on that note, they , the major left wing news media have teamed up with chinese communist party narrative and they are claiming you're racist for making these claims about chinese virus. is it alarming that major media players are consistently siding with foreign state propaganda, islamic radicalism, latin gangs and cartels and they work right here at the white house and have direct access to you and your team? pres. trump: it amazes me when i read the things i read. it amazes me when i read the wall street journal, which is always so negative. it amazes me when i read the new york times -- i barely read it. we don't distribute it in the white house anymore. the same thing with the washington post.
because i know the truth. and people out there in the world, they don't know the truth. they don't know what it is. they use different slogans and different concepts for me almost every week trying to catch something. last week, it was, there's no chaos, i was the one telling everybody to be calm. there's no chaos in the white house. i came up with the term but it is fake news. it is corrupt news. they write stories without calling anybody, they write a story today, i had a couple of stories where they never call me. ever, that i know of. at least nobody tells me. they write a story about me they write a story about me without even asking my opinion on something. it's totally fake. there was a story in the wall street journal today about how we have done.
we have done a phenomenal job on this. even gavin newsom, who i'm usually fighting with over the fires and i think he should do a different job, but a lot of things, we argue a lot, but a -- gavin newsom has been very, very generous. andrew cuomo has been very generous. they are saying we are doing a great job. everybody is saying. then you read this phony story in the wall street journal or with the washington post that is going wild lately. i don't know what happened to them. something happened, like we don't call them back. the washington post, these are very dishonest media sources. very dishonest. and you know what, some day, hopefully in five years, i won't be here. and that will be fine, i will have done, i think a great job. i don't anybody -- i don't think anybody has done as much as i have done in three years. this administration has done a great job. but the press is very dishonest. reporter: they are siding with state propaganda. pres. trump: i think they do.
they are siding with china. they are doing things that they should not be doing. they have sided with many others, china is the least of it. why they are doing this, you will have to ask them. if we had an honest media in this country, our country would be an even greater place. ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much. we are very excited about specifically what we talked about with the chloroquine. i think it could be something really incredible. it could totally depress the times that we had mentioned. excuse me. it could totally depress any time we are talking about if it works. there are a lot of reasons that i have to believe, again, dr. hahn is the expert, but a lot of reasons that i think that it could have a very positive effect, or a positive effect, maybe not very, but may be positive. i think it is very, very
exciting. the beauty as i think i can say this, the beauty is that these drugs have been out there, so they are really -- chloroquine has been out there for years. so we know it is something that can be taken safely. so it is very important. go ahead. reporter: can you give more information about that process by which people will use these medicines? how quickly do you think people will be able to have the medicine? maybe you can update us on the vaccine. dr. hahn: i want to assure you because the questions that were asked, we want to make sure this is done well and right for the american people. the president is right with an off-the-shelf drug, we have a lot of information with the side effects of the drug. that really helps in terms of expediting.
i want to assure you we are working as quickly as we can. i don't want to speculate about a timeline at this point. with respect to vaccines, that is in phase one trial. we are expecting that to proceed moving forward. we are working with a number of different other companies about vaccine development. reporter: the president noted that phase i was fast tracked , is it possible phase two or three can be fast tracked that we might see a vaccine before that year? he said it could potentially be a year? dr. hahn: this is a terrific question. we are trying hard at fda to partner with great industry, great academic partners to do exactly that. no promises can be made. one thing we are doing is working hard to fast-track as much as possible. pres. trump: we will have other times to meet. we will meet hopefully for not very long. i would like to see this cleared up. to me this was a very important conference. because i really think there is great potential here. a lot of people are going to be trying it soon, like literally
very soon, literally in a matter of days, if not sooner in some cases. it is already being experimented with. there have been some very good results. we will see what happens. if we can be even partially right, maybe we will be fully right, but even partially right on it, this whole subject becomes a much more pleasant subject. thank you all and we are going over to fema now. i don't know who is going. but we are going to fema, we will be discussing with the governors and a lot of other people. i think that's enough. thank you. reporter: dr. hahn, will people be using these drugs in a couple days? [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2020] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
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c-span created by private industry, america's cable television company, brought to you by your television provider. leader itsajority mcconnell unveiled a third coronavirus relief bill focusing on the economy. it is called phase three, and here are some of the main details. direct cash payments to individuals, federal relief for small businesses, targeted lending to industries, and funding or hospitals and health centers. negotiations continue. it is uncertain when the senate will vote, when it does you can watch live on c-span2. now remarks from senators mcconnell and schumer on the measure. sen.